The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) mulls converting its two-year Master of Technology (MTech) programme, which consists of course work and research, into a one-year course with no research option.
According to a source, the move was necessitated as the quality of research by many MTech students was found to be poor, despite spending crores in fellowships and providing other resources to them. A few months ago, the institute appointed a committee to draft a proposal to restructure the course. Such a proposal will need the approval of senate, the apex decision-making body at the IIT-B.
IIT-B runs a two-year MTech programme for around 2,000 students and a three-year course for almost 500 students. The curriculum and structure of the two programmes are similar.
MTech students are paid a monthly stipend between Rs12,000 and Rs16,000 for their research and teaching services at the premier institute.
However, a professor said that many of these students, especially the ones enrolled in the two-year programme, are not ‘sincere’ towards their research. “While students do their course work, they are not contributing much towards research. The mandatory research work produced by students is sub-standard. In such a scenario, what’s the point of wasting taxpayer’s money on them?” he said.
Although the institute could ask a student to improve her research thesis by extending the course duration, the teachers generally accept the poor quality research, as neither students nor IITB can afford additional expenses, sources said.
A PhD student at IIT-B said that MTech students tend to neglect research work after they are recruited by a company.
Even if IITB introduces one-year MTech, it may not completely do away with the current two-year programme. “Those who wish to do research in the post-graduate course will be allowed to do so,” said Narayan Rangaraj, dean (academic programmes).
According to Subhasis Choudhary, deputy director (academic and infrastructural affairs), poor research quality isn’t the only reason for revising MTech.
“The committee has been appointed to find out the market requirements. They will consult many people to find out which MTech structure is best suited for the market,” he said.